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Aussie confidence drifts down on China slowdown

Business

Persistent worries over a slowdown in China’s economy and international stock market jitters are troubling Australian consumers.

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The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index fell 0.8 per cent in the week ending January 17, after falling 1.9 per cent the previous week.

Levels are now just a tick above the long-run average, ANZ’s co-head of Australian economics Felicity Emmett said.

“The impact of financial market instability is a reminder that global shocks provide ever-present risks for a small open economy like Australia,” Emmett said.

People’s views on the economic outlook continue to drag on overall confidence and have been on a downward trend since mid-November.

The sub-index on the economic outlook in the next 12 months fell sharply, by 7.5 per cent, last week, continuing its falls in the previous three surveys.

It’s now at the lowest level since Malcolm Turnbull took over the reins as prime minister, suggesting the `Turnbull effect’ may be wearing off, the report showed.

This was partially offset by a solid bounce in consumers’ views about their financial position.

The sub-index covering respondents’ views on their current finances compared to a year ago surged 8.6 per cent, after a 9.9 per cent fall the previous week.

Their view of their finances in the next 12 months rose 4.8 per cent, recouping falls seen in the previous fortnight.

Emmett said the jobs market is tipped to remain strong in the near term, which will help consumer confidence and the wider economy.

“Over the 12-18 month outlook, however, challenges from a shaky global backdrop and a softening housing (market) will weigh on economic growth and consumer confidence,” she said.

AAP

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